A group of Niger Delta militants, the Isourhobo Bombers led by General Titus Deadman, has in what it described as the spirit of respect and honour for the personalities who weighed in after the seven-day ultimatum was issued by his group, suspended their planned action which was to begin on Sunday according to the date of the publication.
‘General’ Deadman-led group had threatened to blow off oil and gas pipelines in Urhobo and Isoko lands should the Federal Government “choose the path of defiance” as it promised to shock the nation at the expiration of the ultimatum.
However, the planned strike has been suspended, according to a press statement issued in Ughelli, Delta State, South-South Nigeria, early Friday morning and personally signed by General Deadman.
Deadman noted that, the Interim Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP General Barry Ndiomu, (Rtd.), the Riverine Peace Initiative in the Niger Delta, RPIND and the Urhobo Progressive Union, UPU were the critical stakeholders, who prevailed on the group, to suspend strike to pave the way for the Federal Government to reverse the wrongs done in the security contract award process.
The Federal Government had awarded the pipeline security surveillance contracts of OML 30 and OML34 to Zane Energy owned by Jimmy Omo-Agege, who is a younger brother to the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, a development the ex-militants of Urhobo and Isoko land vehemently opposed.
They argued that the ex-militants in that corridor led by the Mayor of Urhoboland, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, are entitled to the contract and not a non-agitator.
According to Deadman, “we have agreed to call off the ultimatum, we have agreed to return to the round table for negotiation and for peace to reign.
“The Amnesty boss spoke to us through our trusted mediator His Excellency Akpodoro, Mayor of Urhoboland, at a breath-taken nocturnal meeting with our representative as against the demagoguery posture of the FG to immediately reverse itself and re-award the surveillance contract to us.
“Yes, the UPU led by Barrister Ese Gam, is among the bodies that we have chosen to trust in this negotiation and we elected to suspend the strike based on their peace efforts; ditto the Comrade Toluwa Mulade’s RPIND.
We have listened to you all, and based on the trust and confidence reposed on the above-mentioned personalities, and having consulted widely, the 7-day ultimatum is hereby suspended,” the statement reads in part.
The statement further expressed gratitude to General Ndiomu, (rtd.), who it said “spoke truth to power in the matter.”
“The Isourhobo group doesn’t pander to threats nor profiteering and racketeering. Their attempt to shortchange us was a joke taken too far and a wrong too many.
We await the outcome of the ongoing peace efforts if the duo of the MD and GMD will allow for peace,” Deadman stated, saying “the act establishing the Amnesty is clear on the award of security surveillance contracts.”
Isourhobo group is a coalition of the ex-militants of Urhobo and Isoko extractions who are against what it described as lopsided pipeline security surveillance contract awarded some individuals including a notable politician who is also a gubernatorial aspirant in Delta State.
Additionally, the group in their suspended ultimatum had demanded that FG ends its “lip service to stop gas flaring in the Niger Delta region.”